The USS Meredith was built by the Consolidated Steel Corporation located in Orange, Texas. She was laid down on January 27, 1945. The vessel was then launched on June 28. The Gearing class destroyer weighed 2,425 tons. She was 391 feet in length. She could reach speeds of 32 knots per hour. She had a complement for 267.
After the War
The Meredith was commissioned on December 31, 1945. After undergoing sea trials and shakedown exercises she then left New London, Connecticut, where she served as plane guard for the Randolph CV-15 under the command of Commander W.B. Vindeman. Later she sailed with other ships from the Destroyer Squadron 6. The following years she spent each spring in the Mediterranean serving with the 6th Fleet.
In the first month of January 1953 she went to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard. There she underwent a conversion. During the following years she served in different capacities including time with the Middle East Force. She then entered the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard where she stayed one year. During this time her bridge was enclosed along with some other modifications. She then sailed for her new home in Mayport, Florida, on July 1961.
After undergoing refresher training, she sailed out for some goodwill tours. She sailed to various areas in Africa as well as the Caribbean. During her voyage she collected oceanographic data. In November 1965 the Meredith received an assignment with Project Gemini recovery operations. She received a number of upgrades for this new project.
In 1969 she sailed to the western Pacific. There she participated in the action in the South China Sea. During this mission she offered plane guard and bombardment service. For six months she remained in the combat zone. Following this she headed for Australia and was reassigned to join one of the largest America war task forces since World War II. This group was formed in order to respond to North Korea’s destroying of an American aircraft. She then returned to her home port.
Service in Turkey
On June 29, 1979, the USS Meredith was decommissioned. On the same day she was transferred to Turkey. The following December the Meredith was removed from the Naval Vessel Register. While serving in Turkey the Meredith was given the name of TCG Savastepe D-348. After a number of years of service the vessel was scrapped in 1995.
Asbestos in Navy Ships
Although an essential component of the naval fleet, especially during World War II, naval destroyers also pose a lasting health risk to soldiers serving on them. Unfortunately, products containing asbestos were common, especially on older ships, because of the material’s high resistance to heat and fire. Despite its value as an insulator, asbestos fiber intake can lead to several serious health consequences, including mesothelioma, a devastating cancer without cure. Current and former military personnel who came into contact with these ships should seek immediate medical attention in order to detect possible health consequences associated with asbestos exposure.